MUSC is newest Gold Medal Hospital and Gold Triple Threat

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has been recognized as the newest Gold Medal hospital in South Carolina by Working Well, a collaboration between the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) and Prevention Partners.

Since meeting and achieving the Gold Medal standard on July 12th, MUSC has also been named the seventh Gold Triple Threat hospital. To earn the Gold Triple Threat designation, a hospital must reach the highest standard of excellence and earn Gold in all three pillars: Gold Star for tobacco, Gold Apple for nutrition and Gold Medal for physical activity.

Dr. Susan Johnson, MUSC’s Director of the Office of Health Promotion, states what it means to be named a Gold Triple Threat hospital. “It is an honor to be recognized for creating a healthy campus and promoting health and wellness in our community. To achieve the highest standard and be named Gold in all pillars required considerable work in meeting evidence-based criteria. I am amazed at what we have accomplished and the transformation I’ve witnessed in such a short time. All around our campus you’ll see evidence of MUSC’s commitment to creating a physical environment that contributes to health and wellbeing.”

In order to meet the highest standard of excellence in creating a culture where being active is the norm, MUSC implemented four key components to a physically active worksite: policy, environment, education, and benefits & incentives. MUSC’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution to create a culture of wellness and provide resources and necessary support to ensure such a culture is achieved. The resolution also states that MUSC encourages employees to use their paid breaks for healthy activities. “We consider this [resolution] a necessary step in continuing to translate a wellness vision into reality as it provides evidence and justification to the institutional commitment to a culture of wellness” says Dr. Johnson.

To create a supportive environment for physical activity, MUSC developed three on-site walking trails, two outdoor and one indoor, and an additional off-site trail which has been marked. Points of decision prompts have been installed near the elevators to encourage the use of stairs. MUSC also created an environment supportive of physical activity by creating Fit Gyms and walking groups, offering fitness classes and promoting community events that encourage physical activity. A liability waiver is required of all employees who choose to participate in any wellness activity at work.

These polices and benefits are communicated to staff through a variety of media channels including closed-circuit broadcast messaging, weekly wellness columns in The Catalyst - MUSC’s newspaper, local news and media outlets, weekly email newsletter, a community blog, and by being a standing agenda item during the MUHA Communication Meeting.

“MUSC continues to display their dedication to population health improvement and innovative spirit by implementing environments and programs, supported by policy, that provide employees, patients, and community with easy access to the healthiest choice”, said Jen Wright, Working Well Manager.  “MUSC has accomplished amazing things in a short amount of time, but more impressive is their willingness to share the lessons learned and successful strategies to lift up worksite wellness culture in hospitals and businesses throughout SC, as a Working Well Center of Excellence.”

In addition to receiving all three Gold awards and being named a Gold Triple Threat hospital, MUSC also received the 2013 Prevention Excellence award by Prevention Partners in recognition of their efforts to create a culture of wellness.

Wright will present MUSC leadership with the Gold Medal Award September 2013.

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